Every two years in Germany, thousands of trade visitors attend the Gala-Bau Trade Show in Nuremberg to learn about future trends in garden design and landscaping construction. Among the exhibitors at this fair, one of the leading European dedicated trade events, are always many manufacturers of concrete paving blocks, slabs, garden walls, and furniture.
Among the many product ideas shown this year, there were at least two that particularly stood out. One manufacturer exhibited so-called motif slabs. The manufacturer prints any desired motif on the surface of individual slabs or over entire surfaces – for example, the logo of an association, a map, or a family photo. There are no limits to fulfilling customer wishes or tastes.
The second idea: several manufacturers offered slabs, garden furniture, and walls that looked like wooden flooring, wooden seating furniture, flagstones, or flagstone wall blocks. More interesting than this trend itself, which has been apparent for some time, is the flawless appearance of the concrete products that the manufacturers achieve: Grain, knots, and cracks in the “wooden concrete floors” can be seen and felt and cannot be distinguished from the model. “Natural concrete walls” consist of a number of individual, variously shaped blocks that dispel any impression of artificiality that results from repetition of shape. The multicoloration of the individual elements of a wall, moreover, enhances the natural look.
Concrete products compared to models provided by nature allow for much more freedom of design. Here, again, the customers are free to implement their ideas and wishes.